Hannah Cartwright, Bluetree’s and one of London’s leading Nutritionists talks about how to make a delicious healthy high fibre breakfast.
Fibre is the backbone for our gut because it is a carbohydrate that humans can’t digest which means that it reaches our large intestine where millions and trillions of microbes live (our gut microbiota). Essentially, it is the food for our gut. Fibre also contributes to bulking out our stools, thickening the contents of our gut and keeping our digestive system regular. However, fibre is so much more important than just keeping our bowels regular!
However, the benefits of gut health go beyond our digestive system. Good gut health is linked to the health of our skin, heart, brain, mental health, management of weight, lowering our ‘bad’ cholesterol levels and also reduces the risk of illnesses including cancer and diabetes. Also, 70% of our immune system is found along our digestive tract. So to reduce the chances of common colds and flus, sick days at work and the risk of developing autoimmune conditions, it is so important that we keep our gut happy. Research has shown that an increase of 8g of fibre each day reduces the risk of colon cancer by 8%, type 2 diabetes by 15% and the risk of heart disease by 18%.
Our microbes (gut bacteria) thrives on variety and diversity which is why it is important to be getting not only enough fibre in the diet, but also different types and variety of fibre. This is why I recommend trying to include around 30 different plant based each week. Although this amount may sound quite daunting it is easier than you think. It could include a sprinkle of a seed mix on your meal or opting for the variety multi pack of veg instead or choosing a different fruit to last week’s supermarket shop. On average in the UK, most people are getting about 16 of fibre a day which is just over half the recommended amount (30g).
4 in 10 people suffer from gut issues and 60% of people suffer from bloating. Although fibre can really help to improve these symptoms, when you increase the amount of fibre in your day it can increase bloating and the production of gas so it is important to incorporate it into your diet slowly and gradually. Also, make sure that you are drinking enough water too!
As you can tell, I am very passionate about gut health and I truly believe that looking after our guts is the most effective way to enhance our overall health and wellbeing.
Starting your day with a high fibre breakfast from healthy whole grains and complex carbohydrates will digest more slowly and release a gradual increase of sugar into the blood which metabolically, is a much better profile and will not cause any blood sugar spikes or ‘afternoon slumps’.